Joseph F. O'Donnell, MD - Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Joseph O'Donnell reviews medical content for Healthwise, a nonprofit organization with a mission to help people make better health decisions. Dr. O'Donnell is an internist who specializes in diseases of the blood and cancer, especially cancer prevention and the palliative and supportive care of cancer patients. He is also very interested in effective communication, quality improvement, and outcomes research. He has served as principal investigator or co-investigator for several cancer research projects.

Dr. O'Donnell is Professor of Medicine, Senior Advising Dean, and Director of Community Programs at Dartmouth Medical School. He is a former Chief of Oncology at the Dartmouth-affiliated White River Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, and now serves Dartmouth Medical School as Senior Associate Dean for Student Life and Alumni Relations and Senior Scholar at the C. Everett Koop Institute.

Dr. O'Donnell helped the American Cancer Society develop the "Professors of Clinical Oncology Objectives for Oncology for Medical Students." He is the editor of the series "New Ideas in Medical Education" for the Journal of Academic Medicine for 1998 and editor of the Journal of Cancer Education. He advises the American Cancer Society as a member of its Blue Ribbon II Committee. He is co-author of "Medical Oncology for the House Officer."

Board Certifications

American Board of Internal Medicine—1974
American Board of Internal Medicine, Oncology—1979

Healthwise Knowledgebase Topics Reviewed

Iron Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia
Medical tests:
  • Antibody Screening Tests
  • Blood Typing
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Folic Acid
  • Hemoglobin Electrophoresis
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Schilling Test
  • Sickle Cell Test
  • Tissue Typing


MD: Harvard Medical School, 1973
Internship in Medicine: Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, Hanover, NH, 1973–1974
Residency in Medicine: Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, 1974–1976
Clinical Associate: National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Treatment, Bethesda, MD, 1976–1978

Academic Appointments

Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH:
  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, 1978–1984
  • Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, 1984–1991
  • Acting Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, 1987–1988
  • Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, 1988–1991
  • Professor of Medicine, 1991–present
  • Advising Dean, 1990–present
  • Senior Advising Dean and Director of Community Programs, 1995–2007
  • Senior Associate Dean for Student Life and Alumni Relations, 2007–present
Associate Director for Education and Information Services, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, 1995–2000

Hospital Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital, White River Junction, VT:
  • Staff Physician, 1978–present
  • Chief, Oncology Section, 1978–1989 and 1991–2007
Staff Physician, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, 1978–present

Professional Affiliations

American Association for Cancer Education, Inc. (Past President)
American Cancer Society
American College of Physicians, FACP
American Federation of Clinical Research
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Choice in Dying
National Cancer Society, National Cancer Curriculum Review Committee
NIH Consensus Panel, Cancer Pain Education Task Force

Selected Publication

  1. Nelson WF, O'Donnell JF (1994). The teaching of medical ethics in oncology education. Journal of Cancer Education 9(3): 170–173.

Financial Disclosure

This reviewer reported no financial conflicts.

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